a RI friend is a proprietor of kith cafe at park mall & sentosa cove (kith has another outlet at robertson quay). kith does all day breakfast (till 5pm) and seems like a good coffee place too.
after our may G20 dinner at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015, we all agreed we should be young again & be spotted at kith. so this friend volunteered or was volunteered to organise the june dinner at kith cafe @ park mall on 30.6.2015. 🙂
we had 15pax. 🙂
i didn’t know if kith meant anything in particular, but after googling i found out that kith was like kin or kindred or –
a cafe for friends – good name!
a few friends went early & took a short walk at fort canning park. the rest of us got a tour of our friend’s high end office chairs & system furniture shop adjacent to kith cafe.
the friend ordered watermelon & lychee smoothie for a few of us. it was good, refreshing, quenching, not too sweet. not particularly a favourite for me though.
some ordered ABC – apple, beetroot & carrots me think…sounds healthy. i will try that one next time.
couple friends ordered a soup. think it was the soup of the day, maybe a sweet corn soup. looked ok.
my friend ordered some calamari & 2 pizza to share, and each ordered our own pasta dish.
calamari was good. squid was very slightly tough, batter was good.
this a common dish in many restaurants, and it’s quite competent here. 🙂
the gong bao chicken pizza was better than i expected. we all liked the thin crust pizza.
gong bao chicken may have sounded cheesy & chinatown like but it was actually good – no sticky sauce, taste was not too sweet & combined quite well with the pizza. 🙂
parma ham pizza was competent also. pretty ok. 🙂
pizza not particularly my favourite but it is an excellent dish for communal dining & i do enjoy a slice of good pizza (i shared 1/2 gong bao chicken & 1/2 parma ham pizza with a friend) to start the dinner.
the spaghetti alio olio was good!
good helping, very flavourful, good garlic flavours & lots of shiitake mushrooms. I shared 1/2 of it with a friend who shared 1/2 of my squid ink pasta. not a usual dish i would order as i like meat or seafood. 🙂
the linguine gamberini (garlic prawn) looked good. i will order that next time.
carbonara. looked ok. somehow looked a bit like hokkien mee. egg was mixed in the pasta. i think it would taste good as most pasta here were good. though i am more used to the look/colour of carbonara at alfresco gusto.
i had a try of the bolognese, and the tomato sauce was good. meat sauce/ragout preparation not my favourite but this was good.
did not try the vongole. it looked fine. 🙂
they said vongole is a test of a pasta chef. the lala (littleneck clams) have a distinctive shellfish taste & if the linguine is done al dente the combination is quite excellent. my own vongole linguine here.
the veal spinach tortellini looked interesting.
& looked yummy! i must try that next time. 🙂
my friend the proprietor ordered the day’s special, a squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio.
i tasted. it was good.
i liked my own squid ink sauce pasta better though. it was more intense & flavourful, though my immediate reaction was it was a bit salty. my own squid ink seafood spaghetti here.
the friend who shared 1/2 my squid ink thought it was very salty, and that the alio olio was also salty. i was good with the alio olio, & salt does bring out the flavours (though too much would kill it).
my friend the proprietor ordered 2 more pizza – a duck & mushroom ragout & a special – with sausage.
my phone died so i did not have photos. duck ragout was good & had some meat pieces. i liked the sausage special pizza a bit more, sausage very flavourful.
the pastry chef among us went to select the dessert.
i didn’t think much of the yuzu cheese cake nor the biscuit base. probably i was programmed to think anything yuzu must be specially good. this was average so-so to me.
didn’t think much of the tiramisu either. i had a small teaspoon scoop near the top, somehow thought it felt like penna cotta.
that did not prepare me for interrogation by our pastry chef. she asked if i tasted the lady finger biscuits. seemed that i didn’t (i guess that’s why i thought it tasted like penna cotta – soft, light w/o the tiramisu texture) nor did i tasted coffee or liquor.
our pastry chef thought it was good, and she said there was liquor at the bottom & she didn’t take coffee anyway, so that suited her. guess i have to defer to pastry chef!^^
anyway my palate a bit hesitant, not very sharp like my daughter…give me excuse to try a few more times.^^
the lemongrass chocolate cake looked really pretty, but it’s not my thing.
my least preferred of the 3 dessert.
it was really enjoyable evening. company was super fun, outdoor ambience was cool & nice open space, & food was great. i will probably come back with my family. 🙂
we had a very good breakfast the next morning on 28.1.2015.^^
for comparison, this breakfast was good standard, the kaiseki dinner last evening was so-so, and below par for the ryokan price.
started with a juice.
had a nice tofu.
there was a vege side dish. it was nice.^^
the onsen egg though was not the usual poached egg standard. egg yolk & white were cooked rather than smooth, silky & oozing.
the miso soup was excellent!^^
it had more than asari (littleneck clams), also sazae (turban shell) & prawns.
the fish, fish cake & mushrooms were great too!
the dessert was mixed fruit.
it was a very good breakfast overall.
after visiting beppu’s hell umi-jogoku海地獄, we collected our bags at beppu ski & took a taxi to our ryokan beppu saikei 別府 潮騒の宿 晴海.
after a good rest we went to the onsen before going for dinner kaiseki.
seikai is a bit modern type, with high rise hotel rooms & english menu.
we ordered sake (chargeable).
the porridge started was a spoiler, quite tasteless & unnecessary, added nothing to the experience & made us worry about the quality of the kaiseki.
the sakezuki (先附) was ok – pressed tamago (egg), some side dishes. i would say quite average.
the sashimi moriawase looked ok but was actually very poor. i couldn’t decide if this sashimi was worse than the 1st night at Gettoan on 25.1.2015. everything was very tough. was it bad cut or the chef did not know how to cut? i am clueless.
we ordered an additional aji sashimi at 5000yen+8%.
i could not understand why the aji was also very tough. it was a live fish, something must really be wrong either with the fish here in kyushu (but we had excellent sashimi from the supermarket at fukuoka later) or with the way it was cut. aji should be very sweet (it was ok sweet not too bad) & not tough. for me, taka’s supermarket aji at 1/3 the price or less, is better than this.
the deep-fried aji fish head was not nice too.
they had asari (littleneck clams or la la) chawanmushi. it was pretty ok. 🙂
some radish i think in the chawanmushi.
there was a mayo prawn dish, nothing much there.
a sushi with pickled ginger flower (which i like).
a yuba side dish. this was quite good.^^
there was an interesting soya bean shabu shabu with the local bungo wagyu 丰后和牛. this was very good. but by comparison the 2nd night kaiseki at Gettoan on 26.1.2015, with lots more beef & other shabu items, was much better.
the usual gohan (rice) with pickles.
this time there was cold noodles in a clear soup. pretty ok.
& there was fruits & jelly for dessert.
i guess this kaiseki would be above average, but nothing special & kind of below expectation for the ryokan price. for me, for both Gettoan & Seikai, for the ryokan price they were charging, every kaiseki dinner should be at a standard equivalent to Gettoan’s second night kaiseki! 🙂
wife went to chinatown today & bought S$6/kg manila clams, a kind of soft-shell clams or steamers.
manila clams are much lighter & tastier than the hard shell littleneck clams (the usual lala) though some called manila clams lala also. so even though they cost higher per kg, you actually get your money’s worth.
for today i fried it with butter, chilli padi, curry leaves, orange zest, sliced ginger, white wine, oyster sauce + corn flour on high fire.
need to drain (keep sauce) so as not to overcook clams, return sauce to pan to thicken, then return clams to coat with sauce for few seconds.
this time, the result was a super nice wok-fried manila clams – 特好吃香锅蛤蜊。。。
i was thinking probably need not mix the 2 styles also-
i can try the usual butter, chilli padi, orange zest, ginger & white wine which is my usual preparation for mussel pot or clams & mussels for pasta & risotto.
or i can do the curry leaves, chilli padi, sliced ginger, oyster sauce, corn flour good for toa tao & clams the asian style.
this time though the mixture of taste was quite excellent. everyone enjoyed the dish. ^^
subsequently, i did this dish a few times, and they were consistently good.
i had a very good lunch at gordon ramsey at the claridge’s brook street (now closed), & not so great dinner at marco pierre white in london in 2011. had yet to try joel robuchon. i had joel robuchon in hong kong both the set lunches menu decouvert at l’ artelier & dinner degustation at la cuisine. the set lunches were pretty good & reasonably priced. the degustation was good of course but too expensive for me.
wife & son had been talking about joel robuchon in london & paris, so we decided to go for a pre-theatre at joel robuchon london on 24.8.2014.
it was really good. 🙂
bread basket of baguette, olive bread, sour dough was ok for good restaurant standard.
#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart was lovely. my son & i were talking about that this being an assembled dish, but still the presentation was great & all the ingredients came together beautifully. 🙂
#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings was very good too. it’s a bit similar to the excellent 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo at jaan with the combination of taste & texture – the silky yoke & the salty bits of chorizo PLUS the crispy filo. this was good. jaan’s was much better.
#2 the open ravioli with littleneck clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam was again excellent. the shellfish, crispy top & foam was a wonderful combination. 🙂
#3 the 6hr braised ox cheeks was very good in terms of taste & preparation, however just for comparison of braised items i think the braised lamb shoulder at honey & co was much tastier than this, so was the braised wagyu at hkk london & for my own taste preference = my own spanish beef ribs is also better (of course the meat cuts were different & we are not comparing apples with apples). 🙂
#3 the scottish lobster sea shell pasta, a substantial portion (i think 1/2 a 600g lobster), was tops! the foam & broth like a very good lobster bisque, and the lobster was very sweet & tasty. the pasta too. an excellent pasta dish! 🙂
the price for 3-course was £36 + 13% = S$73++ & there was a £7 supplement for the lobster. at S$73++ for a set lunch/pre theatre menu it was very much more expensive than the fabulous les amis S$45++ 4-course set lunch. both were excellent & JR was more inventive but quality+value wise, les amis would beat this hands down. 🙂
was trying to copy/recreate monterosso restaurant miky’s incredibly tasty flamed seafood risotto. couldn’t do the flamed pasta part of course, so just the seafood risotto. 🙂
i used my favourite chef john of foowishes.com shortcut oven-baked paella method.
for seafood, i fried shelled prawns & cross-cut squid(lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in butter.
i also very lightly fried the razor clams which i had earlier removed from shell, cut away the innards & cleaned.
i fried ginger & some orange peels & added the littleneck clams to a pan over high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.
for the stock i sautéed the heads & shells of 10 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & added 500ml of vegetable stock & boiled for a hour. as i was preparing lobster pasta, i added the lobster shells to the shellfish stock as well. 🙂
i sauteed carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, added turmeric for colour, added 1 cup of arborio rice (which i bought recently at monterosso) & then added the prawn stock & bring to boil. then i placed the oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. i tasted the risotto. the flavour was excellent, and in this case as the stock already had some salt in it & mindful that the prawns & squid were also seasoned i did not add more salt. the risotto was about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard.
i set it aside. when ready to serve, i added remaining stock & juices from the fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover, added salt & paprika to taste. once risotto was almost cooked i added all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute. this cooked the risotto to al dente. the taste was excellent, super tasty from the sweetness of the vegetable, stock & also the prawns, squid, razor clams & littleneck clams. 🙂
sure, it’s not really comparable to miky’s famous flamed seafood risotto which we had at monterosso during our recent amsterdam, lake como, cinque terre, milan adventure 13-24apr2014. still it was a supremely enjoyable dinner. 🙂
- 10 medium prawns (shelled & de-veined)
- 1 large or 2 medium squid (cross-cut)
- 300g razor clams shelled with innards removed & cleaned
- 500g of littleneck clams cleaned
- 1 yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 stalks leek (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 500ml prawn & vegetable stock
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 teaspoon tumeric (or saffron)
- fry shelled prawns & cross-cut squid(lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in butter. very lightly fry razor clams (after removing shell, cutting away the innards & clean). fry ginger & some orange peels & add the littleneck clams to a pan over high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.
- stock – sauté heads & shells of 10 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & add 500ml of vegetable stock & boiled for a hour.
- cook risotto -saute carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, add turmeric for colour, add 1 cup arborio rice. add prawn stock & bring to boil. place oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. taste the risotto & add sea salt, paprika to taste. risotto should be about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard. set it aside. when ready to serve, add remaining stock & juices from fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover. add salt & paprika to taste. once risotto almost cooked add all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute & cook the risotto to al dente. serve.
this was a really fun dinner.
we usually do not eat out on mother’s day or other festive occasions OR would go to places that serve their usual menu & not charge hefty premium prices for usually poorer food & poor service. anyway for mother’s day tomorrow, wife has already decided to go cycling & go to hawker centre for dinner afterwards. 🙂
i decided to try out lobster pasta, having looked at several online recipes & videos, and also how to kill a live lobster (2 i referenced were lobster bisque by chef john of food wishes.com & lobster spaghettini by dude food), supposedly humanely, something one can only take on faith.
i went to sheng shiong & bought a 625g live lobster. price was S$39.90/kg so cost S$24+. there were no mussels today but i managed to get some littleneck clams (“la la”) & also razor clams, so decided to cook seafood risotto. tried this once recently very successfully, emulating the incredibly tasty flamed seafood risotto we had twice at miky at monterosso.
lobster was really quite large & could not fit into the usual metal basin, so i placed it in the roasting tin. poor lobster, looking miserable.
there is supposed humane way to kill the live lobster – i am cooking lobster pasta & killing a live lobster for the first time – so i followed the steps.
#1 i cleaned & placed the lobster in the freezer for 30minutes. lobster was supposed to be knocked out – like in deep sleep? then you plunge the knife just behind the back of the head & just cut the head in 1/2. i watched the videos. it was not difficult.
i removed the head & pincers & cut the lobster tail in 1/2. i lightly browned some garlic to flavour the olive oil, took the pan away from the fire & added the lobster head, tail & pincers, then turned up fire to high. i then added 1/3 cup brandy & let it flamed & burned off the liquor to leave the sweet taste. i cooked the lobster for about 4 minutes (slightly undercooked), then removed from fire. when cooled, i cracked shelled the lobster pincers & knuckles.
i set aside the head & tail & put the remaining lobster shells into the shellfish stock. i had earlier fried in butter prawn shells & heads (from about 1 kg of prawns) then added 600ml vegetable (or chicken) stock. i added some water & let the shellfish stock boiled lightly over 2 hrs, then sieved & reserved the stock for the lobster bisque & risotto.
when ready to serve dinner, i removed the lobster tail from the shell & cut into 2.5cm serving size & added back the lobster head & shells to the pan. i then add diced tomatoes plus a 14oz canned tomatoes & white wine & reduced, and added sea salt & paprika to taste. lastly i added the prepared angel hair (slightly less cooked than al dente) & the lobster tail pieces to the pan, added about 3 teaspoon heavy cream & tossed, and garnished with coriander. voila!
a really, really tasty lobster angel hair pasta. really excellent! 🙂
#2 for the lobster bisque, i added chopped yellow onions, celery & carrots to olive oil & butter, softened the vegetables & added chopped leeks & diced tomatoes, some salt & paprika. i added 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken. then i added 400ml shellfish stock (kept 200ml for my risotto) & added water & boiled for another 1/2hr & reduced to about 600ml. then i used immersion blender to blend to a very smooth, rich soup, then added 3 teaspoon heavy cream & sea salt to taste. 🙂
it was a very intense, tasty soup, smooth & consistent, sweet with lobster & prawn stock & vegetable base, & with a nice mellow brandy flavour. 🙂
#3 for seafood risotto, i cooked the same carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, added turmeric for colour, added 1.5cups of arborio rice & then added the prawn stock & bring to boil. then i placed the oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. then removed & set aside.
meanwhile i fried shelled prawns & cross-cut squid in butter, and also very lightly fried the razor clams which i had earlier removed from shell, cut away the innards & cleaned. then i added ginger & some orange peels & added the littleneck clams to a pan ove high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.
when ready to serve, i added remaining stock & juices from the fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover, added salt & paprika to taste. once risotto was almost cooked i added all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute.
i am very proud of this risotto actually. it was still far from the super tasty one we had at monterosso, and today, as my wife & daughters said, it was not as tasty as my first as i had to split the stock between the lobster bisque & the risotto, it was still a very sweet & tasty dish. will improve next time. 🙂
was at sheng shiong the evening before & bought some lalas (littleneck clams) at S$3.90/kg. they were quite large & plump. 🙂
toying with doing a stir-fried dish with curry leaves. anyway did a pretty good spicy vongole in white wine on 8.3.2013 which was a while ago & thought i would try again. so decided to cook vongole the following day (28.3.2014) & kept the lalas in a bucket of water in the fridge.
it is really an easy dish to prepare. 🙂
i boiled the linguine (200g) with a little oil & table salt, ending just before the 11mins instructions, drained & cooled with cold water to give al dente texture.
i then did the usual slow browning of garlic cloves till they were softened & the alio olio aroma filled the kitchen. then fried the cut sotong (squid) in butter & cut chilli padi, and took them out. i then added the fresh cut basils & lalas & stir-fried for several minutes under high heat until the clams open up. usually i would add some white wine but i did not have any ready for use, so i skipped that.
i then added the linguine to the sauce pan & tossed, and added sea salt & 1 teaspoon + sugar to taste. voila, ready to serve! usually i would add some coriander for garnishing but i did not have, so skipped again! 🙂
usually my wife & I & family avoid the actual days of public holidays or commercialised offerings like Valentine Day, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day etc to dine out. 🙂 while there are good reasons to do on certain occasions, mostly it does not make sense to spend atrocious amount of monies for lesser service & food quality experience, which is what you get when the restaurants are jam-packed & servers are harried.
on those occasions we would either go on an earlier or later date or select a restaurant that served the usual menu or the very few which served a better menu at better prices on special occasions – Majestic was one which served great ala carte buffet for Christmas & New Year but for this year seem to have stopped doing for Mother’s Day & Father’s Day (not to forget they served an excellent World Gourmet Summit Dinner recently). 🙂
for this time, since I cook a decent meal at home these days, we thought we would do Mother’s Day at home instead. However I was called away by the Hong Kong Eat & Hike group and was in Hong Kong on 10.5.2013. and after that I was away in Kyoto/Osaka with my sis & my wife was away with daughter & her friend also. so we decided on a belated Mother’s Day home dinner on 1.6.2013 which also coincided with another special day for us. 🙂
there were only 4 of us for dinner. I wanted to do the Nobu miso cod for my wife as she was never into lamb & now less into beef . so I designed a 6-course dinner but reduced the quantity. 🙂
first we had a very good calamari – this one was done by aunty Bes. she did this quite many times now and was becoming very good at it. I added this dish as my eldest daughter does not take some of the other dishes.
the pan-roasted brined chicken breast & the pan-fried kurobuta were served together with the calamari as a tapas – for eating & chatting around the table. 🙂 chicken was good as always & the kurobuta from mmmm was very good (though I think wagyu is still better but this kurobuta is better than the normal ribeye & striploin). 🙂
next I had a pre-prepared chashumen dish ready to serve – only have to boil the soup from the braising sauce & pour over the noodles. 🙂 The chashu or Japanese braised belly pork was done the usual standard fare for ramen style & I am now able to consistently produce a 6minute runny yoke egg. I used very small quantities of thin white Japanese noodles instead of ramen so it was less “je lak” and also to reduce the carbo. 🙂
I did a really splendid spicy vongole fettucine in white wine the last time in my first attempt. this time the littleneck clams were again super, the pasta was tasty but not as good as the first time. 🙂
the Nobu miso cod was again super -so tasty, and such wonderful bite & texture. 🙂